Spoilers for “Founder’s Mutation”
“My Struggle” was a big letdown for me, but “Founder’s Mutation” was a return to form. The X-Files second episode was the reappearance of the monster of the week format where we get to witness our two favorite FBI Special Agents in their element. Last night’s episode had a lot of essentials in common with many of The X-Files earlier episodes. Eugenics research, alien-hybrid offspring, kids going missing, evil parents who experiment with their children, Scully being knocked out, something inside Mulder’s head causing him pain, Mulder and Scully in Skinners’ office being told to do one thing while he knows they will do the opposite thing, and a missing sister were all present.
Mulder and Scully are charged with investigating the apparent suicide of Dr. Sonny Sanjay who plunged a letter opener thru his brain to get the high-pitched noise in his head to stop. The scientist killed himself in a DOD contracted biotech facility and the FBI has the security clearance to be allowed in the building, but not to look into the research Sanjay was conducting. This is all just the set up for the two investigators to find the owner of the biotech company Sanjay was working for, Dr. Augustus Goldman, is experimenting on children in the womb by splicing human DNA with various mutations in order to trigger a the next wave of evolution for humanity.
After running into several road blocks, Mulder and Scully track down Goldman’s wife, Jackie, who is in a mental hospital after being convicted of killing her unborn son just before he reached full term. Jackie tells the agents about her daughter, Molly, who should have drowned in a pool when she was two after being underwater for a significant amount of time. Molly was okay, playing and breathing just fine underwater. Goldman took his daughter away and Jackie attempted to run while still pregnant with her son. She knew her husband had done something to them and she wanted to save her son from whatever experiments Goldman had planned. But she ended up in a car accident. While she was climbing out of her car, her son talked to her with a high-pitched noise inside her head asking her to cut him out of her so he could live.
The missing son, Kyle, is the janitor for the biotech company and had been sending signals to Sanjay, and later Mulder, to find his sister Molly so he could rescue her from their father. Mulder and Scully take Kyle to Goldman to get some answers as to where Molly disappeared to and Goldman introduces the boy to a girl he says is Molly. It was a trick and Kyle was able to sense his sister elsewhere in the lab. Molly is able to move things with her mind and when the two of them see each other, they combine powers to break the glass of the containment unit holding Molly, and then burst Goldman’s brain in his head before running off together.
Looking into hybrid children has Mulder and Scully thinking of their own child, William, who they gave up for adoption to keep safe. Mulder thinks the experiments Goldman is conducting is a continuation of The Project, where women are used as incubators for eugenics testing. Scully questions if she was “just an incubator” for William. In a very sweet moment, Mulder tells her she was “never ‘just’ anything” to him and my heart went all gushy. The two of them imagine what it would have been like to be able to raise him. Scully sees herself taking William to school and leading a normal life, but her dreams morph into a nightmare of William mutating and becoming whatever it is he was designed to be. Mulder’s dreams are so much more heartbreaking. He imagines the two of them watching 2001: A Space Odyssey (UberApe thoroughly approved of that) and launching model rockets together. Mulder’s worst nightmare is realized when William is abducted (just as his sister was) leaving him to feel cursed that everyone he loves will be taken from him.
I’m really hoping that we eventually get to meet William. I have a feeling he is somehow going to play into the bigger narrative the first episode attempted to establish because you don’t trot out a long lost child for just any ol’ episode. Last night’s entry was visually and tonally so much like the vintage X-Files episodes we all know and love that they only way to tell it was not Chris Carter recycling an unaired episode was the technology. Duchovny and Anderson easily show up how to play up the opposites-attract partnership shows like Bones, Sleepy Hollow, The Mentalist and even the original CSI have attempted to copy over the years. My nostalgia meter was pining off the charts.
What did you think of last night’s episode of The X-Files revival? Were you happy to see more of a traditional weird case of the week episode? Do you think we are going to meet William? Are you unable to un-see Goldman’s eyeballs pop too? Let me know what you think in the comments section below.